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South Korean Skyscraper Will Disappear Daily

South Korean Skyscraper Will Disappear Daily

Today in international tech news: South Korea plans to build an invisible skyscraper -- close to an airport; Facebook apologizes for a dating ad featuring a Canadian teen who hanged herself; BlackBerry cuts will reportedly deepen; Nintendo's revolutionary former president passes away; and researchers create an interactive map of the ancient world.

By David Vranicar TechNewsWorld ECT News Network
09/19/13 9:54 AM PT

In a loud declaration of, "Because we can!" plans have been hatched to build a skyscraper in South Korea that will be able to turn invisible.

The skyscraper's invisibility function will work by having cameras on the tower take pictures of the sky behind it. Those images will then be transmitted to the front of the building, thereby fooling the eyes of people standing in a designated area, to whom the tower will appear to have vanished. Or something.

The building is expected to perform its trick for about a half-hour each day.

Construction will not begin for two to three years, according to one official working on the project.

There is one potential snag: The building is expected to be erected just 15 kilometers from a major airport.

[Source: The Korea Times via The Register]

Facebook Apologizes for Dating Ad Featuring Dead Teenager

Facebook has apologized for a dating ad that appeared on its site featuring the photo of a Canadian teen who hanged herself.

The ad -- for "Find Love in Canada" -- showed Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old who committed suicide after a decidedly cruel bout of cyberbullying. Photos were circulating online which showed Parsons after an alleged gang rape in 2011.

The ads were placed on Facebook by ionechat.com, a dating site that uses Facebook to peddle ads. The owner of ionechat.com expressed remorse, adding that he used the photo by mistake and didn't know the girl's story.

Facebook has blocked the site from placing future ads.

[Sources: The Toronto Sun; The New York Times]

BlackBerry Cuts Going Deeper

BlackBerry created headlines earlier this month when it laid off "several dozen" U.S. employees.

Well, those several dozen are about to be joined by a several thousand.

BlackBerry is reportedly prepping to axe 40 percent of its employees by the end of the year. The cuts will span all departments and occur in waves.

The last time BlackBerry disclosed workforce numbers, in March, it had 12,700 employees. Next March it figures to have far fewer.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal via CNN]

Former Nintendo President Passes Away

Hiroshi Yamauchi, the former president of Nintendo who helped transform the company into an international video game power, has passed away.

Nintendo wasn't even in the electronic entertainment biz when Yamauchi became president of the company in 1949. Instead, it was a small collectible trading card company. Go figure.

Yamauchi was Nintendo's president from 1949 to 2002.

[Sources: ComputerAndVideoGames.com; BBC]

Researchers Trying to Map Ancient World Online

Researchers at the UK's Southamption University have created a tool to index historic maps, photos and documents to create an information-laden map of yesterday -- or yester-century, as it were.

The tool, a product of the "Pelagios 3" project, incorporates data from ancient Latin and Greek sources, medieval European and Chinese maps, seafaring charts from the 1200s and more.

Together, the sources let people find documents, images, stories, maps and more about various towns, cities or villages.

[Source: The Guardian]


David Vranicar is a freelance journalist and author of The Lost Graduation: Stepping off campus and into a crisis. You can check out his ECT News archive here, and you can email him at david[dot]vranicar[at]newsroom[dot]ectnews[dot]com.


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